Our second stop in the Cactus League is in Glendale and we have two more previews and offer MLB picks for the upcoming season on the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cleveland has languished as a mediocre first half teams and played its best baseball in the second half of the season. Despite this, the Indians have been trending downward for regular season wins the last two years. Los Angeles changed managers and lost one the premier pitchers in the game, but is still highly thought of in spite of some rather obvious questions. With the MLB odds on these teams listed below, what should are the right choices for MLB picks, keep reading.
Cleveland Odds - AL Central 2nd (+220) - AL T-7th (+1500) - World Series T15th (+3000) - Win Total O/U 85
In reviewing a variety of different online sportbooks, the Cleveland Indians are pegged mostly for second place, but there are a few first place votes. Yet when looking over roster, the numbers do not add up.
In manager Terry Francona's first year the Indians won 92 games and went to playoffs, the following season they slid to 85 and last year were .500 club thanks to 32-21 closing salvo.
Without Michael Brantley in the lineup to start the season, not sure how the Tribe will score runs. They made no significant upgrades to the roster to help the American League's No.11 offense.
Pitching-wise they have five quality starters all with excellent stuff and a bullpen that can deliver a lot heat. We are big fans of Francona, but you still have to score win. Unless Cleveland has career years from everyday players, the ceiling probably is 86-87 wins, thus either pass or bet Under for season wins.
L.A. Dodgers Odds - NL West 1st (+110) - NL 6th (+900) - World Series T-6th (+100) - Win Total O/U 89.5
The Dodgers have won 92 or more games the past three seasons and have massive payroll. The loss of Zack Greinke leaves a void and with often fragile Brett Anderson gone for at least half the season, that places a lot of pressure on Scott Kazmir, Kenta Maeda and Alex Wood to perform at high level with San Francisco and improving Arizona. After Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles is hardly set and while the bullpen can be dominant, they have their share of struggles.
Offensively, how Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Justin Turner and rookie Corey Seager perform, could shape how well first year manager Dave Roberts does. Known as a communicator, if he can push the right buttons, the offense could reach next level, which helps the pitching staff and it is a given what Adrian Gonzalez will provide.
We will make a prediction on the Dodgers later this spring when we see them again but suffice to say, there are questions.
Cleveland jumped on the Dodgers early to take 5-0 lead in the first two innings, aided by three L.A. errors (four total) in 8-5 victory. Rookie shortstop Seager had two miscues but does look to have the tools, having a Cal Ripken type-body at 6'4, 215 pounds and added two hits.
On this day, pitchers Wood and J.P. Howell in particular did not look good.
Cleveland starter Danny Salazar pitched three scoreless innings,giving up one hit and struck out two and was in command.
Closer Cody Allen was the hardest thrower in the park and his heat was impressive in his one inning.
Tyler Naquin had three hits for the Indians and moved smoothly in center field.